Fatherlessness is a growing problem in America, one that undergirds many of the challenges that families are facing. When dads aren’t around, young people are more likely to drop out of school, use drugs, be involved in the criminal justice system, and become young parents themselves.
President Obama has said that being a father to Malia and Sasha is the most important job he has. At the same time, growing up without a dad himself, the President understands firsthand the holes that fathers leave in their families when they are absent. The President is joining with fathers across the nation to send a strong message about personal responsibility and "stepping up to the plate," while supporting fathers who want to be there for their kids, even dads facing challenges in their lives. That’s what the President’s Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiative is all about.
The President's Fatherhood Initiatives help promote strategies that encourage support for fathers and families. In 1960, less than 8 million children were living in families where the father was absent. Today the number of children living in father-absent homes stands at 24 million. Through research, discussions and planning, the federal government is determined to replicate initiatives that prove especially useful for non-custodial parents struggling to enter the workforce, earn a living wage and reconnect with family members, specifically offspring.
The Fatherhood Initiative and member agencies are working to change fatherlessness by supporting family and father friendly policies, highlighting the importance of fathers in the lives of their children, developing coalitions around this issue in an effort to provide resources to men to help them be better dads.
Sign up here to Join the President’s Fatherhood & Mentoring Initiative www.fatherhood.gov/pledge
Attorney General Eric Holder at the Fatherhood Town Hall – Atlanta ~ Tuesday, December 15, 2009